Dallas Mavericks star Kyrie Irving has had enough of the speculation surrounding his next career move. Irving, a free agent this summer, took to Instagram Live (which always seems to go well for NBA point guards) and addressed all of the rumors surrounding his name.
“I’m a free agent this summer, but I am in no rush to make a decision,” Irving said. “The speculation around my name from all these individuals that get on TV and have these personalities… When they speak on my name and they’re talking about potential teams that I’m going to, respectfully, I’m asking you to please stop paying attention to that. I am in no rush to make a decision.”
The Mavericks, of course, are hoping to keep Irving around for years to come. Their vision is for him and Luka Doncic to form an explosive offensive partnership and lead Dallas to play winning basketball.
Kyrie Irving and Mavericks Reportedly Have ‘Handshake Agreement’ on New Deal
The timing of Irving’s furious rant is pretty interesting. He addressed his future just days after reports that he and the Mavericks had come to a “handshake agreement” on a new contract, prior to the team’s trade for him in February.
Bleacher Report’s Erik Pincus broke the story earlier this week, explaining that league sources had revealed the two sides had reached a deal.
“I hear they had a handshake deal before the trade [with the Brooklyn Nets],” one source told Pincus. “And Kyrie wouldn’t have said yes to anything less than the max.”
Pincus then reported that he’d heard specifics of the potential deal from an agenet.
“I hear he’s going back to Dallas on a 3+1 [a player option on the fourth year]. His contract will line up [identically] with Luka‘s.” one player agent revealed to Pincus.
If the report is true, then Irving’s contract would likely expire after either the 2025-26 or 2026-27 seasons. Doncic’s deal spans the same length, with the final year, 2026-27 being a player option.
How Should Mavericks Fans Feel After Kyrie Irving’s Rant?
Again the timing of Irving’s Instagram rant may say quite a bit. When he’s disputing reports of a new deal being in place for him to remain a Maverick, that should open the eyes of the team’s fans.
It could mean nothing, but if the star guard is refuting rumors of a new contract with Dallas, he’s probably telling the truth about not making up his mind just yet.
Perhaps the whole stunt was done in an effort to save face, should he ultimately decide to play elsewhere next season. Mavericks fans probably wouldn’t welcome the news regardless, but after reports of an agreement have come out, it’d be pretty tough for Irving to avoid criticism if he left.
Plus, it’d just add to the history he has of leaving teams after showing some interest in sticking around.
To add more angst to the situation, Irving was seen sitting courtside at multiple Los Angeles Lakers playoff games this spring.
According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, Lakers star LeBron James has a “known preference” to bring in Irving to be the third star alongside him and Anthony Davis.
“There is a known preference [of James] to have Irving as the third star,” Buha wrote. “There are various machinations to make it work, including the Lakers creating upwards of $30-35 million in cap space by rescinding the free-agency rights of multiple players and declining multiple players’ team options. The Lakers could still retain [Austin] Reaves if they signed Irving, though their depth would take a considerable hit. The Lakers could also acquire Irving in a sign-and-trade, but that would hard-cap them at $169.5 million and require the Mavericks to cooperate.”
All things considered, the panic level of Mavericks fans, on a scale from 1-to-10, should probably be around a 6 (I literally have no sources, this is just an opinion, though I did watch him tell a packed TD Garden that he’d re-sign with the Boston Celtics in the fall of 2018, so there’s that).